First Presbyterian Church  |  701 Florida Avenue  |  Bristol, TN 37620  |  423-764-7176  |

In This Issue
Subscriptions & Deadlines
Seeking Members to Lead the Church
Membership Opportunities Coming Up
A Short Look at the Big Picture
Now That's Adult Entertainment
Come, Labor On, but Not This Monday
Barbecue, Chuck, and James Enliven Wednesday Night
Parents' Night Out Sept. 14
Come to the Wednesday Women's Bible Study!
The Joy of Stewardship
Current FPC Benevolences
Our Latest Financial Summary
Gifts to the Church
Engaging Volunteers: Current Needs
Ringing in September
Handbells by the Numbers
Music Notes
Pray for One Another
Church Calendar
Our Church Officers
September 2
22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Psalm 146
1 Kings 17:1-16
Conflicted Servants
Sam Weddington
O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing
Take Up Your Cross
The Presence
Attendance Last Sunday
8:30: 144; 11:00: 133
Subscriptions & Deadlines
To receive our e-newsletter, email your name and preferred email address to the editor, Kathy Acuff, at The newsletter is emailed a minute after midnight on Thursday morning. It is posted to our website later that day.
Deadline for contributions is the Monday of the week of publication. Windows is a publication of First Presbyterian Church, Bristol, TN.


on First Presbyterian Church

August 30 , 2018
Seeking Members to Lead the Church
The Officer Nominating Committee is seeking suggestions from the congregation for members to serve as Elders, Deacons, and Trustee. We welcome your suggestions of those you see as particularly gifted for serving as officers of the church. You will find nomination forms in the narthex and Fellowship Hallway. You may turn your suggestions in to the church office or to one of the committee members: Chuck Thompson (Chair), Nancy Butterworth, Debbie McMillin, Laura Ong, and Kathryn Parker. Feel free to consult any committee member for more information. A table of all current officers of the church is at the end of this newsletter.
The Duties of Elders
The Book of Order, G-2.0301, states: "As there were in Old Testament times elders for the government of the people, so the New Testament church provided persons with particular gifts to share in discernment of God's Spirit and governance of God's people. Accordingly, congregations should elect persons of wisdom and maturity of faith, having demonstrated skills in leadership and being compassionate in spirit. Ruling elders are so named not because they 'lord it over' the congregation (Matt. 20:25), but because they are chosen by the congregation to discern and measure its fidelity to the Word of God, and to strengthen and nurture its faith and life. Ruling elders, together with teaching elders, exercise leadership, government, spiritual discernment, and discipline and have responsibilities for the life of a congregation as well as the whole church, including ecumenical relationships. When elected by the congregation, they shall serve faithfully as members of the session."
The Duties of Deacons
The Book of Order, G-2.0201, states: "The ministry of deacon as set forth in Scripture is one of compassion, witness, and service, sharing in the redeeming love of Jesus Christ for the poor, the hungry, the sick, the lost, the friendless, the oppressed, those burdened by unjust policies or structures, or anyone in distress. Persons of spiritual character, honest repute, exemplary lives, brotherly and sisterly love, sincere compassion, and sound judgment should be chosen for this ministry.
The Duties of Trustees
The Book of Order, G-4.0101, states: "The corporation so formed, or the individual trustees, shall have the following powers: to receive, hold, encumber, manage, and transfer property, real or personal, for the congregation, provided that in buying, selling, and mortgaging real property, the trustees shall act only after the approval of the congregation, granted in a duly constituted meeting; to accept and execute deeds of title to such property; to hold and defend title to such property; to manage any permanent special funds for the furtherance of the purposes of the congregation, all subject to the authority of the session and under the provisions of the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The powers and duties of the trustees shall not infringe upon the powers and duties of the session or the board of deacons."
Membership Opportunities Coming Up
Two opportunities for adults interested in joining in membership with First Presbyterian Church Bristol are coming up in September. Both meetings will be held in the chapel.
  1. Sunday, September 9, after the 11:00 service
  2. Sunday, September 16, after the 8:30 service
We receive members in one of three ways:
  1. By baptism and profession of faith
  2. By reaffirmation of faith (for those who have been baptized but are not currently active in another congregation)
  3. By transfer of church membership
If you are interested in these opportunities, or want more information, please contact Dave Welch at
A Short Look at the Big Picture
Are you interested in knowing more about the Presbyterian Church in general and FPC specifically? If so, come join a new short-term (six to eight weeks) Sunday morning adult class with several other interested folks. We'll talk about church history, worship traditions, service and fellowship opportunities, what and why we believe, and even where you may fit in, just to name a few questions we will be addressing. The class begins Sunday, September 16, in room 125 (right off the Fellowship Hallway). It will be taught by Dave Welch and promises to be engaging, informative, and dare he say it ... entertaining.
Now That's Adult Entertainment
Speaking of Adult Learning, this month our Wednesday evening programs will feature Chuck Thompson and the Book of James. Join us for an incredible meal, followed by even more incredible teaching! Also, if you are not currently participating in any Adult Learning and would like to gather with other folks on Sunday morning, there is a new class for you. Matt Richardson and Andrew Beck will be facilitating a look at the Gospel of John, starting Sunday, September 16, in room 123 (past the kiosk across from the main office). No preparation is needed, just show up and join in the reading and lively discussion.
Come, Labor On, but Not This Monday
We are putting down the spade and bucket and picking up the sand shovel and pail, for the church office will be closed Monday, September 3, in leisurely observance of Labor Day. We will be back at work on Tuesday.
Barbecue, Chuck, and James Enliven Wednesday Night
Barbecue meets the Book of James Wednesday, September 5, when we enjoy a fellowship supper of BBQ sandwiches, baked beans, slaw, and dessert at 5:30. At 6:20, Chuck Thompson will lead adults in the first of three sessions on the Book of James. High School Small Groups, Middle School Gathering, and Wednesday Night Kids will meet at 6:00. Please join us!
Parents' Night Out Sept. 14
The Children's Ministries will hold a Parents' Night Out from 6:00 to 8:30 on Friday, September 14, in the Education Wing. This event is for newborns through sixth graders. Please let Lilly Osborne know the number and ages of the children to expect so that she can provide dinner and materials for all of them. To sign up, email Lilly at, call or text her at 423-383-5476, or use the Children's Ministries Facebook page.
Come to the Wednesday Women's Bible Study!
All women are invited to the Wednesday Women's Bible Study, which will hold its first meeting of the semester next week, on September 5 in the regular 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. slot. The small group formerly used videos but now will follow a printed guideline to study books of the Bible, beginning with Philippians. Each meeting is an informal time to discuss God's Word, pray, and enjoy one another's company. Drop by the Coffee Klatch Room any Wednesday morning to see whether this small group fits your needs. If you have questions, contact Dottie Havlik at 423-956-6747 or
The Joy of Stewardship
"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms" (1 Peter 4:10, NIV).
When I was just a little boy, Daddy told me, "Son, put this money in the offering." He handed me a couple of coins, usually quarters, one for the Sunday School offering and the other for the church offering. When the basket or plate was passed, I put the coin into the offering and felt like I was participating in something big. I felt like I was joining with others in the church to contribute to something that none of us could do alone, but together, with the Holy Spirit, we could make big things happen.
I felt joy when I handed that coin over to the offering. It wasn't as though I was giving up anything, rather I was adding to a collective effort, a team goal that would produce good results. Those coins were given to me from my parents, and I had no claim to them as my own. Placing them in the collection place was an effortless action, even joyful, since I was also pleasing my parents and didn't feel that I was giving anything up.
A few years later, I was old enough to make a little money from my paper route. That was a big step because I was earning those dollars by my own effort and discipline. That was my money because I had earned it. When it came time to place some of my money in the offering plate, I was conflicted. I felt that I had ownership of that money, it was mine, I worked hard for it pedaling a single-speed Huffy with balloon tires and baskets filled with newspapers every single day. I had to climb hills, ward off neighborhood dogs, catch customers who were trying to dodge my efforts to collect for their subscription, and everything else it took to run a business as a 14-year-old. That was my money, and by golly, I wasn't going to just give it away.
Eventually, my patient parents and a grace-filled deacon at church led me to an understanding that the money from my paper route was a blessing in the same manner that the earlier coins from my father were blessings. It was not about the money: a handful of quarters or a stack of wrinkled dollars. The blessing was in the knowledge, in the understanding that everything comes from the Father in the same manner that the talents came from the master in Matthew 25. I was blessed to have been trusted as a steward of some of the master's material worth.
Here's the thing. If I hold on to the misguided notion that I have earned whatever talents and skills that have come my way through experience and educational efforts, that I own my time and deserve to use it for my own pleasure, that I have earned the money and treasures in my keeping and can spend it as I please, then I have denied myself the peace and joy that comes from being a part of God's grace and joy. All things come from God. It's all His. I have no claim to them as my own. His gift to us is to trust us with a few worldly resources in the form of time, talent, and treasure. Our love for Him is shown by our diligence as good stewards of these Godly gifts.
We, the members of First Presbyterian Church Bristol, have historically stepped up to help others in our congregation, in our neighborhood, in our world missions, by giving generously of our precious time, abundant talents, and valued treasures. We join together to contribute joyfully to something that none of us could do alone, but together, with the Holy Spirit, we make big things happen. Please take note of the benevolences supported by First Presbyterian Church on this partial list and give thanks that you, too, are a trusted steward of his gifts; a good and faithful servant./ Jerry Poteat
Current FPC Benevolences
The following benevolences are supported by pledges and offerings to FPC Bristol.
Abortion Alternatives
Habitat for Humanity
Abuse Alternatives
Haven of Rest
Adult Mission Travel
Healing Hands Health Center
Boy Scout Troop 3*
King University
Brazil Mission
                School Scholarships
                Capital Projects
                General Support
Living Waters for the World
Marthina Chapel
Bristol Emergency Food Pantry
Minister's Discretionary Fund
Bristol Faith in Action
Mission Festival
Christian Hands Ministry
Missionary Couple - Bulgaria
Christmas Joy Offering
Missionary Couple - Ethiopia
Community Bible Study
Missionary Couple - Kenya
Cooperative Presbyterian Mission
Missionary Couple - Other
Ethiopia Mission
One Great Hour of Sharing
Fairmount Elementary School
Sharing Christ Worship Center
Family Promise of Bristol
Student Ministries Mission Events
Five Cents a Meal
The Salvation Army
Girl Scout Troop
Venture Crew 3*
Good News Jail & Prison Ministry
Young Life of Bristol
*FPC is the chartering organization.
Our Latest Financial Summary
FPC's most recent financial summary shows an encouraging trend for pledges and offerings. Here are the financial highlights through July 31, followed by a table of revenue and expenses.
  • Pledges/Offerings through July 31 are outpacing expectations by $22,981.
  • Other Gifts, Income & Reimbursements are tracking very close to budget, as expected. These are income items that typically have a direct offsetting expense.
  • Expense Notes:
    • Evangelism & Outreach expenditures were over budget by $5,291. All expenditures were incurred in accordance with income received for benevolent offerings.
    • Programming and Ministry areas of Worship & Music and Christian Education & Nurture are tracking favorably year-to-date.
    • Although expenses for Administration were below budget through July, the last five months of the year are weighted more heavily and should outpace the previous seven months of the year, yet still remain safely within our budgeted provision. This increase is primarily because we became fully staffed as of August 1.
    • Similarly, Building & Grounds expenditures are typically more heavily concentrated in the second half of the year as deferred maintenance items are set aside, pending any unexpected building maintenance that may arise earlier in the year.
    • Utilities are over budget by roughly $1,000 primarily as a result of higher electricity bills. Over the last two months, however, this overage has begun to shrink from more than $2,000.
    • Capital Loan: The balance with Eastman Credit Union on July 31 was $517,250, which represents a year-over-year principal reduction of $61,758. Interest expense on the loan (which flows through our Operating Budget) was $11,722 for the eight months ending July 31. For the same period last year, interest on the loan was $13,048.
July Actual YTD ($)
July Budget YTD ($)
Annual Budget ($)
Total Pledges
Other Gifts , Income & Reimbursements
Total Income:
Evangelism & Outreach
Worship & Music
Christian Education
Building & Grounds
Fellowship & Stewardship
Total Expense:
Gifts to the Church
Memorials and honoraria are published in the newsletter only after the family has been personally notified by our business office. Today we gratefully acknowledge gifts to the church in memory of:
LaVerne Frazier: to the Flower Fund from Barbara Thomas
Betty Mott (mother of Betsy Galliher): to the Capital Fund from Fred & Heidi Harkleroad
Lee Truman (father of Linda Welch): to the Capital Fund from Fred & Heidi Harkleroad
Engaging Volunteers: Current Needs

FPC needs volunteers immediately for the following tasks. To volunteer, call the church office at 423-764-7176 or email the listed contact person.
Children's Sunday School. We need a helper for our third and fourth grade class. You can sign up for one week, one month, or a specific day. Contact Lilly Osborne,
Fusion. We need a male helper for our great group of fifth and sixth grade boys. Contact Lilly Osborne,
Kitchen Cleanup. We have folks to help give our Wednesday fellowship suppers, but we still need people to clean up afterward. We are using disposable plates and cups, so pitch in and pitch away! Contact Scottie Bales,
Student Ministries. Work with our youth in Student Ministries! Contact Katie Arnold,
  • Planning Team. Meet monthly with the Director of Student Ministries to plan, vision, and pray for student ministry. Assist with Student Ministries tasks and events.
  • Student Fellowship Small Group Leader. Invest in the lives of a few teens to encourage authentic faith. Attend Student Fellowship on Sunday night from 5:30 to 8:00. Assist with activities and spend time with teens through dinner, games, and worship. After worship, guide discussion in your small group.
  • Sunday School. We need an adult to teach a high school class every other week.
  • Wednesday Night Small Group Leader. Our freshman ladies need an adult to guide their small group after the fellowship supper.
Ringing in September
Forget spring; fall is the season of renewal. Although summer shows no sign of fading, we are embarking on a fresh year of educational programs, fellowship activities, and communal worship. The first two volunteers to mow in September can be forgiven, nay, lauded, for whistling while they work. Aaron Brooks (August 29-September 1) will get us ready for the first Sunday of the month, and Fred Harkleroad (September 5-8) will make sure the turf is smooth for Sunday School Rally Day September 9. Makes you want to sing and ring the bells, doesn't it?
No need to wait for spring! Whatever the weather, signing up is never out of season. We welcome men and women, adults and teens, even families: younger children can move debris to the curb, and a parent or elder sibling can mow. It's easy, and you suit your own convenience, mowing once or up to three times. Simply contact Randy Cook at or 423-956-1541. If you're new to Scag mowers, he will be happy to give you a lesson on ours.
Handbells by the Numbers
It's all about the numbers.
We are looking to field a team of 11 players.
Did you know it generally requires 11 players to play a standard 3-octave handbell arrangement? We are capable of playing much larger arrangements; the church actually owns 4 + ½ octaves of bells. That's 56 bells in all: the upper half of a piano and then some. All we need are the people to ring them.
It appears we have 6 ringers returning from last year. We need 5 more people to come practice 1 hour a week, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. every Monday. Are you 1 of the 5? There is no nominating committee that will call on you. You have to nominate yourself. Age is not important. You can be 8 or 80. But you must love music. If you can tell the difference between a line and a space, you can follow a simple handbell part.
Email me (, call me (423-341-0378), or stop me in the hall ("Hey, Bob!"). I'd love to talk with you about ringing with us this year. Our first rehearsal will be Monday, September 10, at 5:30 p.m. Make sure that 1 of the 5 new faces we see is yours. Thanks! / Bob Greene
Music Notes
Sunday's music: Our anthem, "The Presence," was composed by G. Alan Smith (b. 1946),
G. Alan Smith
who has long been associated with the United Methodist Church. With two degrees from Southern Methodist University, Smith currently serves as senior music editor at Abingdon Press in Nashville. The text of the anthem refers to the scriptural invitation that Christ offered to his disciples (and to us) at the Last Supper.
Sunday's music participants: Bob Greene, Pat Flannagan, Sanctuary Choir.
Organist's footnotes: Last year, a young man approached me about taking organ lessons. He played saxophone in his high school band but had no formal training on the piano. When I asked him how he got interested in the organ, he said it was the blockbuster movie Interstellar, which features the pipe organ extensively in its soundtrack. I saw Interstellar when it was released in 2014, so I knew what he was talking about. Nevertheless, I wanted to dig deeper to better understand how a film could pique someone's interest in the pipe organ.
Hans Zimmer
It didn't take me long to figure it out. Based on comments that people posted about this film, I came to the conclusion that this may be the first time that many people, especially young people, have experienced the power and majesty of a real, "live" pipe organ, even if they hear it reproduced though a Dolby Surround Sound system. Relatively few people attend church these days, and of those who do, fewer still attend services that have a decent pipe organ, or any organ at all, let alone a magnificent instrument played by a skilled professional. Even Hans Zimmer (b. 1957), the hugely successful composer of Interstellar's musical score, was apparently unaware of the organ's many capabilities. Zimmer learned much from working with organist Roger Sayer, whose expertise helped make the organ shine. (For more information on this subject, please pick up my handout, "Hans Zimmer - Making of INTERSTELLAR Soundtrack," available in the narthex.)
For those unfamiliar with the film, Interstellar is set in a dystopian future where earth is becoming uninhabitable. The film follows a group of astronauts who travel through a wormhole in space in search of a new home for humanity. At the heart of this far-flung epic is a touching love story between a father and his daughter, who become separated for much of their lives. This heart-wrenching theme of separation and isolation is made palpable through the music.
Zimmer's music can be described as minimalistic, meaning he purposefully limits his material, making subtle shifts in the patterns of the music. We need to allow the music to unfold at its pace, not ours. The father-daughter theme, "Day One," is the musical core of the film. I will play it on the piano during the serving of the Lord's Supper. "Organ Variation" (prelude) is spare and austere yet somehow emotionally moving in its own way. However, "No Time for Caution" (postlude) is anything but spare. It is music that heightens the tension of the dramatic action happening onscreen.
Pray for One Another

In Our Prayers
Kevin Buck
DeeDee Galliher
Ron Grubbs
Nancy King
Chuck Thompson         
Virginia Rutherford
Birthday Prayer Fellowship
Sept. 3        Nancy Carter, Kinser Crutchfield
Sept. 4        Jess Beckner, Judy Slaughter
Sept. 5        Randy Cook, Jack Richardson
Sept. 6        TJ Abel, Margaret Wade
Sept. 7        Mary Ellis Rice, Patsy Ward
Sept. 8        Bobby Dabbs
Church Calendar
Sunday, September 2
8:30 a.m.       Worship, Fellowship Hall
9:45 a.m.       Sunday School
11:00 a.m.     Worship, Sanctuary
Monday, September 3
Church office closed for Labor Day
Tuesday, September 4
10:00 a.m.     Morning Prayer Group, Conference Room
1:00 p.m.       Jackie Burt's Heartsburn Bible Study, 
Room 117
6:30 p.m.       Board of Deacons, Rooms 117 & 123
7:00 p.m.       Boy Scout Troop 3, Scout Wing
Wednesday, September 5
9:00 a.m.       Staff Meeting, Room 117
9:30 a.m.       Women's Bible Study, Coffee Klatch Room
5:15 p.m.       Baby & Toddler Care, Rooms 34 - 37
5:30 p.m.       Fellowship Supper, Fellowship Hall
6:00 p.m.       Wednesday Night Kids
6:00 p.m.       Middle School Gathering
6:00 p.m.       High School Small Groups
6:20 p.m.       Adult Learning Program
7:00 p.m.       Worship Team, Fellowship Hall
7:15 p.m.       Sanctuary Choir, Room 220
Thursday, September 6
7:00 a.m.       Men's Bible Study, Parlor
12:00 p.m.     Noon Bible Study, Room 117
Our Church Officers
Church Officers
Class of 2018
Class of 2019
Class of 2020
Aaron Brooks
Anna Booher
Nancy Allerton
Randy Cook
Lee Galliher
Rebecca Beck
Debbie McMillin
Pete Holler
David Hyde
Stuart Parker
Han Ong
Jordan Pennington
Chuck Thompson
Pete Stigers
Jerry Poteat
Class of 2018
Class of 2019
Class of 2020
Adam Abel
Sujean Bradley
Blake Bassett
Nancy Butterworth
George Linke
Rhonda Comer
David Ginn
Greg Roberts
Brenda Lawson
Rett Stocstill
Nate Sproles
Barbara Thompson
Ann Woods
Bill Whisnant
Class of 2018
Class of 2019
Class of 2020
Charles Webb
Nancy Cook
Peggy Hill